Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

David and I wish you a wonderful Christmas celebration!

and so do the Beagles...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'm not lost...

....just super busy! I've been subbing a lot for Spokane Public Schools and doing different activities, including one very tough English class at Whitworth! On Thursday, I received a call from my former principal (where I was the secretary before getting my teaching degree) and asked if I'd be a long term sub in 6th grade!! Of course, I said, "YES!!!" I began yesterday, shadowing the teacher and then I really start when we get back from Christmas Break. The assignment is at least six weeks!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Gratitude Friday

Hi, everyone! I almost forgot what day it is. Grab a big mug and you can either have peppermint hot chocolate or Starbucks Christmas Blend. Here's the list, which is going to be quick because we have friends coming to visit in a half hour.

1. Jen (my daughter) and Brad! Their wedding date is May 30, 2010.
2. Ian's talent in photography! Ian took Jen and Brad's engagement picture today (not the one on this page) and they turned out fabulous.
3. Thanksgiving Dinner! Wow, it was a lot of food and delicious. I need to learn how to make stuffing, though! Sad, I know, but I just can't get the hang of making it and then stuffin' the bird. But I loved the pumpkin pie and cranberry topped cheesecake, plus leftovers today.
4. a day to stay home! I didn't go anywhere today except to the bakery. No shopping for me. It was really nice to be in my bed at 4 AM rather than being out with the crowds.
5. friends and family! What would I do without you, through good times and bad? Thanks for hanging around and loving me.

What are you thankful for today? Happy rest of your holiday weekend! Be sure to visit Home Sanctuary for more Company Girl Coffee fun.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving (and a recipe!)

This morning I'm thankful for a houseful of people and animals. No matter that my little house is bursting at the seams, I am blessed to have a roof over my head, a place to place my head each night, and more than enough food on my shelves. As I start my Thanksgiving festivities (turkey has just gone in the oven), I thought I'd share my eggnog french toast recipe. It was so yummy and something new for our family! Enjoy~

Taken from

Eggnog French Toast

2 eggs, beaten slightly
1 1/2 cups eggnog
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
12 slices French bread


Whisk the eggs. eggnog, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together in a mixing bowl until well blended. Pour the mixture into a shallow dish. Preheat an electric skillet to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Lightly grease the skillet. Dip one slice of bread at a time into the eggnog mixture, being sure to coat each side of the bread thoroughly. Place the prepared bread slices into the preheated skillet, and cook, turning once, until golden brown on each side. Place cooked slices on a serving plate and cover with foil to keep warm until all French toast is cooked. Serve immediately. (I added a tablespoon of white sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla to my eggnog mixture; the cinnamon is the correct amount! The key is to cook the french toast over medium heat or it browns too quickly.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your ovens!

As I was preparing the cutest little chocolate chip pumpkin pies, David realized that he needed to bake the topping for his cranberry cheesecake. The two items are sharing 20 minutes in the oven. One of the pies is going to have to make a sacrific for quality control and then they're being tucked away for later consumption. I'll share a picture of David's cheesecake with you when it's all complete. It's so pretty! ps I just peeked, the pies are looking scrumpious.

Random Dozen

Random Dozen ~ Thanksgiving Edition!

1. Are you sticking to traditional Thanksgiving foods this year, or are you being culinarily adventurous? Traditional, with a few new things thrown in! I have a soon to be son-in-law to impress! Ha, he told me he eats anything except pumpkin. Brad says it's is a vegetable and doesn’t belong in desserts. We’ll have two desserts this year!
2. Tell me something concrete that you're thankful for. (Something you can literally touch, see, etc., not a concept like "hope.") a paycheck! My husband is out of work and I have been subbing lots. So, when that paycheck comes in the mail next Monday, I’ll be extremely thankful for provisions during this time.
3. You knew the flip side was coming: Share about something intangible that you're thankful for. The gift of laughter!
4. Share one vivid Thanksgiving memory. It doesn't have to be deep or meaningful, just something that remains etched in your memory. Two Thanksgivings come to mind. #1 is a month before David proposed to me, back in 1983. Power was off and we watched football by battery with 32 extended family members there, too. The turkey was cooked over the wood stove, the mashed potatoes done in the camper. He wasn’t scared off! #2 is a sad memory. My grandma had passed away the week before Thanksgiving of 1993. Of course, the power was out the night before the funeral and we ate by lantern light at my mom’s house the night before the funeral, I think. (memory is sketchy!) The Thanksgiving meal was at my aunt and uncle’s house with many people there because Grandma’s funeral had been the day before. There was also snow!
5. What is one thing that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt is going to happen this Thanksgiving because it always does, year after year? The kids will search (and fight!) for the wishbone.
6. Do your pets get any left-overs? They’ll try, but no leftovers for them.
7. Does your family pray before the big meal? David usually has a spontaneous prayer before our meal.
8. Will you be watching football in the afternoon? If not, what will you be doing? Football for the guys; the girls will be looking at the ads and making a strategic shopping plan for the next day. We’re also working on wedding plans this weekend!
9. There are two distinct camps of people on this issue: How do you feel about oysters in the dressing/stuffing? Bleck! Is this an East Coast question? Never heard of oysters in dressing.
10. Do you consider yourself informed about the first Thanksgiving? Yes. The original one and some other “firsts”, such as refugees who are coming to America for their first time. An excellent kids’ book to give you perspective: How Many Days till Thanksgiving, by Eve Bunting.
11. Which variety of pie will you be enjoying? Pumpkin, a cranberry topped cheesecake
12. Do you feel for the turkey??He should have campaigned more for people to “eat beef.”

For more random dozen answers, skip over over 2nd cup of Coffee's blog. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Follow procrastination, no backward looks"

Tonight at church Dave, our pastor, spoke on this portion of scripture. I was listening!

From The Message Luke 9:57-62 On the road someone asked if he could go along. "I'll go with you, wherever," he said. Jesus was curt: "Are you ready to rough it? We're not staying in the best inns, you know." Jesus said to another, "Follow me." He said, "Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father's funeral." Jesus refused. "First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God's kingdom!" Then another said, "I'm ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home." Jesus said, "No procrastination. No backward looks. You can't put God's kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day."

My own paraphrase of what Jesus is asking, " Are you going to give up what you want?" Yikes! Instantly my mind filled with thoughts of the wanting of my own classroom. I didn't like that. But am I going to be obedient and give up what I want? It's His plans and He doesn't need me to try to fix things the way I want them to be. He's got it figured out... "just follow me!"Looking at my wants over the next few days, I'm sure there's lots in my life because I just walk into Starbucks right now and I WANT all of the new items. For those who know me, I'm a huge procrastinator (and being a perfectionist, too) Look at what Jesus said, "NO PROCRASTINATION!Today's the day, get going." Talk about a kick in the hiney tonight!

I'm listening and ready to follow now. Hang in there with me, it's going to be the most interesting journey! Destination time: the rest of my life

ps A song we sang tonight had this phrase, "The One who spoke the waters into place whispers into my ear." He does all those amazing big and little things, just for me and you! Let Him whisper to you like He does to me.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm a perfectionist, I'll confess!

But I can still get an A for effort!

Gratitude Friday

It's the middle of the night but it's still Friday! Grab a BIG cup of coffee and join me in Gratitude Friday.

1. the ability to help plan Jennifer's wedding, via email! I just had a glimpse of the ceremony and reception materials needed for the big day. Jen and Brad arrive on Wednesday for the Thanksgiving weekend and I can already have some items in Jen's box to send back with her to Goldendale. If email wasn't available, we'd be sunk with waiting for the pony express! We have gotten spoiled with the speed of communication these days.
2. warm comforters! As I'm perched on my computer chair at 3:10, I realize that this house is cold and perhspa I really should be back under that warm comforter on my bed. However, I'll press on, share my thoughts that no one else ever really reads & then go back to bed.
3. teaching jobs! I've been blessed with many guest teaching jobs. I'm really starting to understand Kindergartners and how their little brains operate. They are sweet kiddos!
4. David's unemployment! Ok, it's definitely not a blessing, but his being off work has allowed me to write "honey do" lists for around the house. I have my longtime friend Wendy arriving on Saturday afternoon and the house is going to be sparkling because of his wonderful cleaning and polishing. The Thanksgiving meal is almost completely purchased and ready for consumption. I haven't lifted a finger on the shopping! Thanks, Mr. York!
5. snowflakes! I don't think I posted last week and there was a small showing of snowflurries during the afternoon recess break on Friday. One of the girls in another class had never seen snow before! It was a fascination to watch her during the recess. I almost felt giddy as she stuck her tongue out to catch a snowflake and, of course, I joined her!
6. Starbucks coffee and treats! I met up with my summertime boss yesterday and not only splurged on my favorite drink (first time Starbucks ALL week!), I inhaled the first of the season cranberry bliss bar. Oh my goodness! It was sooooo delightful. I can't afford to buy the whole loaf so I'm going to have to search for a recipe to make something very similar to it. Did I mention I also bought not one or two, but FOUR Christmas ornaments? The very cutest miniature Starbucks cold drink cups. Can't wait to see them on the tree! (I only get one; the kids get the rest!)
Wishing you a wonderful Friday before Thanksgiving! Enjoy your coffee this morning~ I know I will need a triple dose of it. Just insert the IV into my arm. I won't feel a thing, honest!
PS I'm needing to revise my blog -- it's kinda boring, both in look and information. I am definitely not the eloquent writer that I've seen out in blogland, nor am I filled with a sense of humor in my writings like my friend Mary (LOVE her blog! Cohagen Chronicles), or a "filled to the gill" writer of energy, play on words thoughts and inspiration like my friend Rachel at the beautiful Home Sanctuary site. I would like to be so blessed as a writer but I know I have a style of my own hidden somewhere....ideas?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Honoring Our Veterans Today!

November 10 on 10

Happy November "10 on 10." I didn't get the full ten this month. I had worked all day and by the time I got home, it was dark! But here's a few pictures of my day, with the backyard shots, the Beagle Boys and my favorite place for coffee. Enjoy!

first ice on the bird bath
weeping willow tree

cold morning for the Beagle Boys

Venti Vanilla Latte', please! Non-fat, extra hot



Friday, November 6, 2009

Gratitude Friday

1. Five and six year olds! Great morning of teaching with them.

2. Hawaiian pizza! That's what's for dinner after a stressful afternoon (I taught a different grade level in the afternoon.)

3. Four days of work. With David being unemployed, every penny earned counts.

4. Leftover Halloween candy. I've been enjoying the samplers of Butterfingers and Snickers; items I can't take to school to share because of the peanuts.

5. An inexpensive brake repair job on David's car. What might have cost $500 was only $200. It was a faulty valve, not the actual brakes.

Ok, grab a cup of coffee and some pumpkin chocolate muffins. Take a minute to sit down and visit with me. I've missed you! What have you been up to these days?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Living Happily Ever After....

Brad Bellamy proposed to Jennifer this week so we're adding a wonderful son-in-law to our family! We are SO excited!!!! No specifics on the wedding date but I'm guessing within the year.

Brad's from Goldendale where Jen teaches high school Spanish. He loves sports and she doesn't. Opposites do attract! But being in a small town means that sports are a big thing at the high school and she goes to all of the games. Of course, she's probably cheering for the assistant coach a lot! :)

They'll be joining us for Thanksgiving dinner so I'll be sure to get some great pictures.

Any advise for the mother of the bride?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Warning: Slow Moving Porcupines May End Up In Your Tires

Last Tuesday night I was driving to Jen's house in Goldendale and came across a slow moving porcupine in the middle of the road. I saw it at the last minute and, of course, ran over it! The big guy might have already been dead or just trying to make it to the other side of the road & I interrupted his travels.

I screamed, not only because of the loud noise and thumps the collision caused, but I am one of those people who will stop for a chipmunk while they decide which way they'd like to go on the street and which tree is the best. Seeing flat animals makes me sad for the animal's family that's left behind at home. So, hitting a porcupine was one of those sad moments for me.

It was dark when I arrived at Jen's and no way to really check the car out to see if there was any damage. The next morning, Jen and I looked out and there were all these quills sticking out of my two right tires! Of course, we're both wondering if the quills will make the tires go flat. Pulling a few of them out I found out how sharp they are. The quills have barbs on them and were quite stuck into the rubber! I ended up pulling most of them out, but left a few of the "evidence" in place to show David when I got home.

On leaving Goldendale, I looked for signs of the porcupine and there was nothing on the road where the incident had occured. I wonder if the big guy walked off, saying "ha, can't hurt me...take that!" or if another animal had come along and scooped him off the road as a late evening snack.

I have the pulled out quills in a safe place (a baby food jar) to share with kids. I wish I had the full quills so I could use it when I read the book "Prickles"....a sweet book about a porcupine that doesn't have any friends because he's grumpy! But I wasn't about to stop and ask the prickly guy if I could have some of his quills for a teaching project. Life in the fast lane....not so fast when you're a porcupine!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Gratitude Friday

Good morning! Coffee is on....grab a cup and join me in Gratitude Friday! What are you thankful for this week?

1. coffee! David roasted coffee beans last night and the coffee smells A-M-A-Z-I-N-G this morning.

2. kindergarten hugs! I taught Kindergarten yesterday and the kids swarmed all over me to give hugs when they arrived. Cherished moments. Talk about feeling loved!

3. the ability to still learn! I took a big midterm last night and even though I stressed over it (and don't think I did well!), imagine what would happen if I no longer could be a life time learner?

4. travel time! I spent the last week with my mom in Hansville, I served Lutefisk in Poulsbo, a quick overnight with my aunt & uncle in Auburn, a few nights in San Francisco with Ian and another quick overnight with Jen in Goldendale. That's a lot of miles. I LOVE traveling, though!!! (and all of the Starbucks that are waiting for me to visit!)

5. friends that continue to give me encouragement. Life hasn't been very fun lately. I can't explain everything that's going on, but it's been a sad journey since camp got over.

Thinking on Psalm 61 this morning: "O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings." (vs 1-4)

Hope you have a wonderful Friday. I'm off to teach those sweet kindergartners again!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Recipe of the week: Oven-Baked Pineapple Pork Chops - Gooseberry Patch

From Gooseberry Patch, I'm making this recipe tonight for dinner!

Oven-Baked Pineapple Pork Chops

8-oz. can pineapple slices, drained and 4 T. juice reserved
2 T. soy sauce
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. garlic powder
4 pork loin chops
1/3 c. Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1 t. paprika

Combine reserved pineapple juice, soy sauce, ginger and garlic powder in a shallow bowl; add pork chops, turning once to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Gently toss bread crumbs and paprika in a pie plate; add pork chops, coating both sides. Arrange pork chops in an ungreased shallow 13"x9" baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Turn pork chops; place one pineapple slice on each pork chop. Bake 25 additional minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October's 10 on 10

I did it, I took pictures on the 10th of the month!! Lots of pictures of camp, plus a few of the beautiful Lake Spokane on a gorgeous fall day. Enjoy~

Friday, October 9, 2009

Gratitude Friday

Woohoo, living on the edge today and changing the picture to the left! :)

I have been relaxing (aka LAZY) all day and just know getting to Gratitude Friday, plus sharing a cup of coffee with the Company Girls. No school today so no job = no stress! Kinda nice.

Grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate (it is rather chilly at my house) and share your Friday Gratitude list with me.

My list:

1. medical insurance coverage. I know I've shared this before but I had to go to the dentist and doctor this week because of TMJ pain. I'm being sent to a TMJ specialist and right now the case is being reviewed. I'm in a lot of pain with not being able to eat much or sleep a lot. Thankfully the dental visit was seen as an emergency, which our dental insurance will cover, and the TMJ visit will be covered, too, because it's seen as medical treatment. I also appreciate the free muscle relaxer samples I can take at night, too. It has made a difference. (Now if I can get the dogs out of my bed at night, I'd be ecstatic!)

2. coffee with friends. It was a very early morning Starbucks date with Polly. I so appreciate her! I swamped her brain with questions and she gave me back some answers to think about. Love those friends who give constructive criticism with grace!

3. date night. David and I are going out tonight to see "Up!" Looks like a hilarious movie, we get to have popcorn for dinner because it's a very early showing, and just spend time together out of the house. (GREAT MOVIE! Loved the story of Carl and Ellie. My favorite quote is "Russell: Sometimes, it's the boring stuff I remember the most." Remember to enjoy the boring stuff, too. It's what memories are made of. GO SEE IT or buy it!)

4. extra work. I'm headed out to camp tomorrow to help work in the kitchen -- serving, dishes and cleaning. I LOVE IT! It's how I paid for my car insurance in high school and college, working at Island Lake Camp's kitchen. I was jumping for joy when Jenny asked if anyone could help her out this week. Imagine getting paid, too! It will be a beautiful fall day out at the camp. Taking my camera.

5. The ease of the Internet. In less than a half hour, I booked a flight to San Francisco and found a hotel to stay at. I'm going in 9 days to see Ian, flying out of Seattle (amazing low fare!) I loved being able to book everything myself and saving lots of $.

Ok, I'm off to see the movie. Could someone feed the Beagle Boys at 5 PM and play with the kitties til we return? THANKS!! Help yourself to whatever treats you can find above the stove... I'm sure there's chocolate up there!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Just this thought....

Internal fighting.....between my heart and my head.

I was reading a blog this morning and Carol's story hit me like a brick. Not the actual story (besides tugging major at my heart because of her sweet baby Grace) but the end of the story. She asked some pretty pointed questions that got me thinking. As I read on another friend's blog, "my heart and head are in an arguement, continually!"

She asked : Do you feel all alone? Have you felt like shaking everyone around you and shouting, “Fix it”?

This is the verse Carol shared: "You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed." Joshua 23:14 NIV

I'm struggling in this area, trusting that He's in control. Esp with teaching jobs and in the friendship department these days.

How do YOU know with all your heart and soul that His promises to you have been fulfilled?

To read the rest of Carol's story, go to Internet Cafe Devotions.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Random Dozen

Linda is hosting her weekly random dozen and she had a bit of a Hall and Oates theme going in her original post. Come play along...just answer these questions on your own blog and link back here to share your answers.

1. On an average, how often do you splurge and buy something for yourself? When I am being frugal, I don't splurge often. However, I am the queen of Starbucks and I will splurge at least once a week on a venti vanilla non fat latte, esp if it's payday Friday.
2. What is the last creative project you began/finished? Creative project would be cleaning my house for two and a half weeks while waiting for a teaching job! Time to start on it again since I have today off. Other projects include rubberstamping cards. I'll work on one today and post the picture.
3. OK, Goldie Locks, do you consider your house too big, too little or juuuust right? Hmm, contentment would be the question here. It's a small house but just right for the two of us. But it's not what I really want.
4. What is your favorite outdoor chore? Pooper scooping is NOT my favorite chore, but sitting on the back steps with the Beagle Boys after the job is done and enjoying the sunshine & the Boys...that's a great reward for doing that nasty chore.
5. If you knew that cigarette smoking was not bad for your health but would be a weight loss tool, would you use it? No Why or why not? Just like marijuana is supposed to help with MS, not using it even if I might feel better. Nasty, nasty, nasty!
6. On a road trip, would you rather drive or ride? If the road trip is with girlfriends, I like to drive. If it's with my hubby, I like to ride. Then I can read and sleep.
7. What do you consider a trivial pursuit? Trying to figure out life! My head and heart are always in an arguement.
8. So ... how long do you watch a movie or read a book before giving up on it? A book will get a couple of chapters. A movie will get turned off if it's at home. If we're at the theatre, we'll watch the whole thing even though we're thinking "let's leave!" Did you know that if you leave in the beginning of the movie because it's not to your liking, you can ask for your money back or get another movie ticket? You can't wait til the end of the movie, though! We've done it a few times with AMC movies.
9. Is there a song that you really love but are embarrassed to admit because it's not cool or it's racy or because it's by Hall and Oates? I can't think of one right off the top of my head. (Ok, I thought...I loved Bob Dylan's song "Lay, Lady, Lay" and Chris De Burgh's song "Lady in Red". Perhaps kinda racy but back when I heard them, I was pretty naive! :)
10. On a scale of 1-10 (10 = extremely) how spontaneous are you? 7 but not a big risk taker, either. My favorite thing to do is to jump in the car and go for a drive, not really knowing where I'm going. It's always full of surprises and usually enlightening, both in sights and my own thoughts.
11. Are you a food and/or beverage snob? yep. Starbucks is always my drink of choice for coffee!! (even though hubby roasts amazing coffee, a Starbucks latte is the best!) I can't forget that I'm totally in love with German Reisling wines, either. Don't give me a glass of red, it's got to be sweet white!
12. Who/What are you trying to control in your life? I am realizing that I try control friends (or keep them at arms' length) which doesn't make for good friendships. How do I stop this cycle?! I could use some constructive criticism in this department.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Happy World Card Making Day!

I'll be making some cards inbetween studying for my English grammar class and doing some other errands today!! Have fun creating and brightening up someone's day with a homemade card. (If you would like a card, drop me an email with your snail mail address!)

I'll try to take some pictures of what I create. I know I need to make some birthday cards so this is a great day to get them completed. For more information about World Card Making Day, hop over to, which is presented by Paper Crafts.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gratitude Friday

Good morning! Freshly roasted coffee being served today in my Starbucks yourself!

Gratitude Friday includes:

1. days off! I took yesterday off to recharge. I had a test last night in my English class and I wanted to study a little bit. Well, I studied, took a nap, had tea with a friend, got a flu shot, bought new glasses (I had to get progressive lenses!), cleaned the house and spent some time outside with the Beagle Boys. As much as I love teaching, it was nice to have to only make a decision for me or answer my own questions.

2. medical insurance! I got the flu shot yesterday and although I know they don't cost very much, my medical insurance pays for it all. Because we have our military medical benefits, I haven't had to worry about having other medical insurance while I'm not employed as a full time teacher. I know how blessed we are!

3. the crisp fall days! I love the changing of the colors of the leaves and knowing WHY they change. I'm headed up to Greenbluff this afternoon to get apples to make apple crisp and freeze some apple pie fillings.

4. drop in friends! I had two friends drop in for a visit this week. No call, just dropped in. I LOVE IT!! I miss having people at my house and they don't care that there's disarray all over the house. They came to see me!

5. warm sweaters and sweats! The temperatures have dropped and I'm not wanting to turn on the heat yet. So warm sweats to the rescue for cruising around the house in the early mornings and late evenings. I know, they're not the most beautiful and def don't win points with the fashion police, but they're warm and comfy. The warm sweaters.....cold, windy recess duty on Tuesday forced me to find a warm sweater for Wednesday, along with my coat! I'm thinking it's time to get acclimated or it's going to be a long winter.

What's on your list today? I hope you have a wonderful weekend. My friend Wendy is on her way to FL to see her husband, Lisa is on her way with her husband to Tahiti and I'm going to be wishing I could go somewhere instead of doing the gazillion items I've got to get done here. Have a great time, ladies! I'll just remember that I'm headed to Poulsbo in a few weeks to help with the Lutefisk dinner and San Francisco is going to be on the horizon soon, too!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Random Dozen

1. Tell me the absolute best way to watch a movie. The absolute best way is to be with a great group of girlfriends, laughing and munching on popcorn. Of course, it's got to be a chick flick, too!

2. Do you ever think about your own funeral? If so, do you have specific ideas about how you would like it to be? I do think about my own funeral. No sad music!

3. Are you more of a giver or a taker? I am both, but unfortunately I'm a giver that sometimes expects something to be given back in return. I'm learning about this!

4. Vacations: planned activities and schedules, or play it by ear? It depends on the vacation. Often we play it by ear, but I love activities being planned. Esp. if it's a romantic getaway. Just something about everything being taken care of for me. Although, I love getting out the travel books and looking to see where we can go and what we can do. Money plays a big factor, too.

5. What is one often overlooked item in your home that needs to be cleaned regularly? The microwave. Gross crusty stuff that seems to just appear on the top inside of the microwave or on the door.

6. Name a cause that means a lot to you. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I have had MS for 8 years and am very ready for a cure for this disease!

7. Do you eat a regular old peanut butter jelly sandwich, or do you customize it? And by the way, jelly or no jelly? Fresh white bread, yummy fruit jam and it's got to be cut at least in half. I had a third grade teacher who forces us to have our sandwiches cut. I don't eat a sandwich now unless it's been cut! Silly, huh?

8. If we were having a conversation in person, how would I know if you were nervous? I pick at my fingernails when I am nervous. I could also take a long time to come up with a word I want to say. Not sure sometimes if it's nervousness or just a brain malfunction. It drives me nuts!

9. Do you have an elaborate bedtime routine, or just the basics of toothbrushing and jammies? just the basics

10. Have you ever regretted something you wrote on your blog? Wow, were you reading my blog this week? I made the worst blunder ever this week on my blog and I can tell you that humble pie and crow do not taste good at all. I will stick to keeping comments about others to myself, not on my blog!

11. Has anyone ever told you that you look like a famous person or celebrity? Did you agree? I have been told I look like my principal. The kids often get us mixed up, more that I look like her, though, not the other way around. No other famous person or celebrity, though.

12. If you were going to dedicate a song to a loved one or friend, what would the song be and to whom would it be dedicated? I would dedicate the song "Legacy" by Nicole Nordman, but I'm not sure who the dedication would include. It's more of a random song to get people to think about how they live right now! "How will they remember me: did I choose to love, did I point to Jesus? What type of legacy did I leave?"

For Random Dozen, head over to 2nd cup of Coffee's website! Thanks, Linda.

Friend Makin' Monday

Happy Monday! Friend Makin' Monday....what a great way to start a Monday!

Today's topic is to list a few things you can't live without:

1. Jesus!
2. my family
3. coffee/Starbucks
4. MnM's
5. friends
6. laughter
7. warm jammies for those cold Spokane nights
8. Tahiti Sweetie lotion
9. books
10. the Internet

What would be on your list?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Gratitude Friday

Good morning! I'm sitting here with an empty cup of coffee and time to fill it up again. Join me in another cup of coffee, freshly roasted by Mr. York!

Gratitude Friday includes:

1. a wonderful weekend in Walla Walla, WA with Mr. York for our 25th wedding anniversary getaway

2. Five full days of guest teaching this week (YAHOO!)

3. finding a local bakery that makes the best chocolate filled croissants, almost like the ones we got in Bitburg, Germany

4. my friend Robin is home from Alaska for the weekend and we'll have coffee together tomorrow morning

5. being able to help out a neighbor and another friend with furniture and household items that I was blessed to have in my possession but didn't really need. Amazing the amount of stuff I have. It's just STUFF!

What's on your gratitude list today? I have missed hearing from you!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Celebrating 25 years of marriage today!

David and I are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary today! I woke up this morning, wondering if I could turn the clock back since time has gone by so quickly. 25 years ago neither David and I thought we'd have gone all the places we traveled to or gone through so many interesting experiences! Nothing special for a celebration today because he has class tonight but we're leaving Friday afternoon for a weekend away. Not sure where we're going, it's a surprise from David! I'll have details for you after the weekend.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Whitworth University!

New Whitworth University students and their parents began flooding the campus today, moving in and getting to know the beloved WU! It made me very nostalgic -- after finishing my degree two years ago, I love being on campus and I'd love to become a dorm mom!!

David started at Whitworth a few weeks ago, taking teacher certification classes. I'm starting on Thursday with "The Structure and Development of the English Language." I realized I only have ONE class to take to finish my Reading endorsement and eight classes to finish my English endorsement. Time to get cracking and make myself more marketable in the teaching field. The English endorsement would be for 5-12 grade so I actually could teach middle school and high school.

I still don't have a full time teaching job, but I do have a half day assignment on Tuesday at my favorite school in the entire Spokane area -- Ridgeview!

My parents are arriving on Monday afternoon and we're taking them to Anthony's for dinner. They're on their way to Wisconsin and parts of the US farther East. They'll be leaving the same time I leave for school on Tuesday. The poor beagle boys will have gone from having company for the past two weeks to being back in their crates for a half day!

Hope you have a great rest of your Labor Day weekend~ enjoy lots of coffee!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gratitude Friday

Good morning, Company Girlfriends and everyone else! It's been awhile since I've done Gratitude Friday, due to being gone at camp forever. But I'm back home and at my computer lots more, instead of checking email, facebook and voicemail at Mile Marker 43. (The nearest wide spot in the road for cell phone service!)

I'm busy cleaning the house, putting things away, dusting high and low! (Earning big points for Home Sanctuary!) I was hoping to have a full time teaching job by now.....I've applied EVERYWHERE in WA State, even sending off an application packet to my hometown district of North Kitsap. However, nothing has surfaced yet so I'm waiting impatiently for a subfinder phone call. I've got a really cute first day of teaching outfit. So far, I've worn shorts to the school where I used to work as I volunteer to help my teaching friends get ready for their first day of school. Yesterday was that day for them. Today I chose to stay home and focus a bit on me!

Gratitude List for today~

1. a VERY wonderful summer of being at Tshimakain Creek Camp! I miss my camp family lots! The memories made and the kids' lives we touched -- priceless!

2. the Beagle Boys! They turned a year yesterday. We can't imagine life without them! Perhaps it'd be a smidge quieter and less chaotic. But they're so fun. I'll see if I can get a new picture of them posted today.

3. continued sunshine! I've been able to continue working on my tan in the afternoons, to keep it from fading since I've been home from camp. It's HOT during the day, but pleasant in the evening and crisp fall feeling in the mornings.

4. my cousins! I was at my cousin Dan's wedding last weekend. It was fun to be with my mom's side of the family. I'm the oldest of the cousins and there just doesn't seem to be enough time to see all of them, plus they're ALL busy! Here's a small picture of Monica, Teresa, Dan and myself.

5. fresh farm produce! I'm planning on going up to Greenbluff to get peaches and other fresh produce. There's a new type of corn on the cob I want to try. My friend Lisa B has zucchini for me...yipppeee!! Zucchini bread, zucchini choc chip muffins, zucchini fritters...yum~

Have a great weekend, everyone! To those of you whose kiddos don't start school for a bit longer, enjoy the rest of the summer! Glad you could join me for Gratitude Friday and a big cup of coffee. I've missed you!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just this thought....

Today is the first day of school for Spokane Public Schools. I didn't have a teaching job today so I volunteered in the office (my old job, actually!) and in the workroom to help teachers get things accomplished before the first bell rang! I LOVE public schools just because of this verse.....I love letting my light shine to the kids and staff! Looking forward to the school year, not just with Spokane School classrooms, but anywhere where I get to be with kids and teaching! Let my lifesong sing to you~

Sunday, August 9, 2009

(In)Courage -- What Encourages Me?

Courage –noun
1. the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
2. Obsolete. the heart as the source of emotion.—Idiom
3. have the courage of one's convictions, to act in accordance with one's beliefs, esp. in spite of criticism

This new website (In)Courage is launching tomorrow! (their button is on the left sidebar) Taking hope to heart is the site's motto and I can't wait to read about what courage and encouragement looks like in others' lives. "Imagine all of us sitting around the kitchen table at a beach house, coffee in our hands, listening to stories as different as each one telling them." I'm excited! Imagine, the beach, coffee and girlfriends from all over sharing stories. AMAZING!

What does courage look in my life? Courage is being a military wife for over 24 years and being brave during unsettling times in the world. Courage is my fight against MS and the unknowns. Courage is going back to college at age 40 and getting my Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. Courage is stepping out in faith to try to become the best in what God has for me and learning to "Be Still!" It isn't easy. I fall, often and hard! But I'm thankful for my friends who encourage me in my journeys. I couldn't make it without encouragement!

Encouragement to me is taking time to share a cup of coffee to talk about the struggles and successes of life, my friends and family , an email or handwritten note that uplifts me, laughter with tears for the good times and bad, elementary kids who remind me daily how important my job is. Encouragement gives me extra strength to have the courage to face today and tomorrow without fear! What encourages you?

From another blog friend, I found this quote:

Spread love everywhere you go.
Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
~Mother Teresa

I can't wait to become friends with the (In)Courage girls! Check out the (in)courage website for yourself and be blessed~

I'm (IN!)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Gratitude Friday

Hello! Whew, I made it with about 45 minutes to spare for my Gratitude Friday list. I am, in fact, drinking a Starbucks vanilla latte right now as I type this out. I can go get you one, too, if you'd like. There's a 24 hour Starbucks just a little bit away...what would you like?

My Gratitude list...

1. the ability to LAUGH! We had Mud Pit this week at camp and boy, did I get m-u-d-d-y! Stay tuned for pictures.

2. time to relax! While the rest of the camp was floating down the river on inner tubes, three of us floated on this big yellow float thing (it was round) and it took about an hour to go from the bridge back to camp. We stood up on it (and didn't tip!), we suntanned, we laughed, we just looked off into the distance and contemplated life or took time to be quiet. We decided we should do it every day.

3. my friend Robin! She was hired today by a school district in Anchorage. She and I have been friends since I started in the Whitworth cohort. Robin leaves on WEDNESDAY to start her new job the very next day. I will miss her dearly. She's been a great friend and support. Thank goodness for email and texting!

4. flip flops! I have been wearing different shoes at camp because of safety when we're doing the challenge course. I had some other cool slip ons that I LOVE when I'm off duty but I was getting a thick line of white on my feet. So I've switched to flip flops (good ones, not the 2.99 type!) to get a thinner white line. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do to have an even tan line...white feet look funny.

5. time to look, in what seems "FOREVER", for a teaching job! If I had tons of major responsibilities around the house besides three cats, three dogs and a hubby, I wouldn't be able to spend this much time in front of the computer. I did turn down an international job in Baku (google to find out what country it's in!) because of lots of reasons. I won't say anymore but please pray that something opens up here in WA State. I am getting discouraged as it gets closer to start time for school.
Alrighty, it's been a pleasure to sip a Starbucks with you late into the late hours of Friday night. Hope you have an excellent weekend. I have NOTHING planned this weekend and since I've been experiencing a bit of vertigo and some other weird symptoms, I'm going to lay low. You can pray that the extreme heat hasn't made my MS flair up....I'm going to be bummed if this is what it's all about!
Share your gratitude list here with the group....check out the rest of Company Girl Coffee and see what Home Sanctuary has posted for us to do with the Small Things in Life.
ps Pictures are coming tomorrow!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Gratitude Friday

Good morning! Today's latte is from Cafe Fresca at Holy Family Hospital in Spokane. I just left there after having a follow up mammogram and ultrasound. I also got to visit with my good friend Diane who works at Holy Family. Life is good in the lump department...very benign features and I'll get checked again in a year.

I am on my way out the door to Leavenworth, WA for a relaxing weekend on the Wenatchee River. We were blessed to be able to rent a big cabin for my cousins, David and myself. Having spent six years in Germany, Leavenworth isn't much of a Bavarian type town for us but it's still a great place to visit and play. Ready to go....and guess what? There's a Starbucks in Leavenworth. Score~

Here's my gratitude list for the week:

1. suntan lotion! My nose keeps getting darker and darker so I have been putting Face 45 on it. I also lost my sunglasses so there's not the very noticeable line anymore! :)

2. Jennifer! She's home for the weekend to hang out with the Beagle Boys and kitties.

3. Ian! He's back in San Francisco going to college at Art Academy Institute. Keep him in your prayers as he searches for a job and an apartment to move into with his friends. It was nice to have him home to hang out with the beagle boys while I am at camp all week.

4. a cool place to lay my head! I've had horrid headaches due to the heat and it was nice to come home last night & be cooled off in our basement. Of course, our temps are usual for Eastern WA. Can't imagine what Puget Sound people are feeling with their super high temps.

5. watching kids laugh and play at camp! Jenny and Brian's two kids were at camp with me this week. I didn't get to be with them much but it was fun to watch them have a wonderful time!

Have a wonderful week~ miss hearing from you all!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Gratitude Friday (on Sunday!)

Good morning! Wow, what a's been sooooo hot here in Spokane and camp was a constant GO for me. I arrived home on Thursday, slept most of Friday (super duper bad headaches!) and yesterday I was at a wedding and a luau housewarming. How to cram 1000's of activities and friends into one quick weekend....I think I am learning to master it all.

Here's my gratitude list....

1. the love of traveling and teaching. I interviewed for Quality Schools International this past week and so far I've been offered two jobs overseas. The first one was in Baku (I had no idea where this city and country is located!) and the most recent is in Atyrau, Kazakhstan. I don't think I'll be accepting either one (I'd have to move in about 3 weeks!) but I'm definitely willing to go overseas if I can't get a job here in WA. (and yes, I'd definitely go to MT, too!)

2. longtime friendships. The wedding I attended was for Amy Nelson, one of Charlotte's twins. Charlotte and I have known each other since jr high and I'm blessed to have her in Spokane where I get to laugh with her often.

3. the rain! This morning we woke up to rain. It's very nice to not have to water the lawns ourselves today. It's been VERY hot in the Pacific NW and everything is super dry. Fire danger is quite high.

4. Wild Women Group! I've been a part of the WW group for about five years. They never fail to keep me laughing. Alllllllllll I've learned about life comes from this group. I always am good for blushing in many of our conversations! We were at a luau housewarming for Terri last night, complete with spouses, significant others, friends and neighbors. They roasted a 160 lb pig. It was DELICOUS!!!

5. being able to fit into size 8 clothes! Yesterday I wore the cute dress that you see in the picture and I loved being able to fit into it. I bought it last fall and wondered if I would ever be able to wear it. Tada~ miracles do happen! Now to continue to keep myself this size -- lots of discipline and working out. But it's sooo worth it! Tons of compliments yesterday...happy smile.

Have a wonderful week! Next weekend David and I are traveling to Leavenworth, WA with my cousins from Canada. Inbetween now and then, it's an action filled week with elementary kids at camp.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Gratitude Friday

Good morning! An amazing week at camp and now David, Ubu (one of the beagles) and I are headed to Long Beach, WA to hang out with my cousin and her hubbie and their three beagles. Dieter has to stay home due to having an owie on his left flank. I will do the rest of my gratitude list when I return on Sunday.....thankful for you!!